Well, you decided to sell your house. You are definitely going to move. You’re downsizing, upsizing, relocating…what ever the reason, you have to pack up your things, sell your house and move on.
Wait a second! Don’t most people sell their house first, THEN pack up and move?
Most of the time, this is the order of things but I want to introduce to you a little twist in the method. You see, many of us have too many things. Large furniture, many pieces that can be fit into a room. Prints and paintings can sometimes be so large it’s hard to tell if that is the frame around it or the wall behind it. Kids toys are generally piled high in the corner of the play room or stuffed in the closet when guests come over.
Well, think this way. If you are moving, why not pack now? I know that sounds extreme to some people but really, your house could sell tomorrow and then you have less time to get your things together. In any case, it is a good idea to start the packing process early; as soon as you know you are moving. Here’s how:
Go through your items and take those things you do not want anymore to either the neighborhood consignment shop or donation center. Throw away the junk you’ve collected but do not need. Then rent a storage unit for a month or two and fill it with the following:
- Books. Your huge book collection looks great on your built-in cabinets but to a buyer it looks like clutter. A buyer might not be able to see the house as theirs, with their things in it, when all they can see is your book collection. Clear your shelves and stage them to look open and spacious. A few photos, a short stack of horizontal books, a glass jar or vase can still decorate and look appealing.
- Music. CDs and record albums are more fragile than books and can take longer to pack sufficiently. And a large music collection will leave most buyers stopping to see what kind of music you like and compare their collection with yours. It’s fun to look at but distracting and by packing them away, you can free up a lot of space that can make a room look larger.
- Knickknacks. These collectibles take a while to pack up: individually they must be wrapped and packed so there is no chance of breaking them. If you don’t trust yourself, it’s o.k. to hire someone to come in this early in the game to help you get started. Other knickknacks include trophy collections, other displayed collections and a wall filled with framed awards. These are just some examples. Pack them up; you don’t need them out right now. Plus, trophys and awards are distracting to the buyer.
- Kids toys. Let’s say your house is competitively priced. It shouldn’t last long so take the toys your children don’t usually play with and pack them up. Well…if they don’t really play with them it may be time to pass them on to another family. If these are items that your children will pick up again after you move, box them up now; get rid of some of the clutter to show how big the rooms in the house are.
- Out of season clothes. Buyers want to know how much storage is available inside the house. If your closets are packed full with not only stuff but also clothes for all seasons then it is time to get them cleared out. Take the stuff and box it up. Separate your clothes by season and pack what you don’t need for now. Moving during a season change? Then pick the clothes you will most likely need in the next month. If you are going from Spring to Summer, you certainly don’t need your coats, sweaters, heavy blankets, skis and snow boots. Pick what else you don’t need and pack it away.
- Excess furniture. You might love that wall to wall cabinet in your keeping room but if it isn’t staying with the house the room looks so much smaller than it really is. You might need that extra long dining room table for the holiday dinners but take the extra leaves out and shorten it to make the dining room look larger. Are there more dressers and tables than you need in your bedrooms or living room? Take some out to storage and show off the space available in those rooms. It might seem strange being without some of your furniture but in the long run, buyers can see the interior as it is meant to be which might help your house to sell quicker.
Now that you have packed some of your things, store them away in a storage unit…not your garage. Buyers would want to see the space available to them in the garage and that would be hard to do if it is packed full.
The point is: you’re moving so why not pack what you don’t need. If your house is cluttered, even with the things you love, it can be distracting to a buyer. The clutter can make the space look smaller than it is. Once cleared out and staged, call your REALTOR and put your house on the market so you can move on.
Eileen Saunders, SRES REALTOR with Tommy Morgan Realtors 2092 Old Taylor Road Oxford MS 38655 662-404-0816/662-234-5344 firstname.lastname@example.org Equal Housing